Becoming a believer

Discussion and debate not related to prophecy.

Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:47 pm

Most often I hear/read of a "system" necessary for becoming a believer. Some of those necessary components might include some or all of the following:

* Believe
* Confess with your mouth
* Public confession
* Baptism
* Faith
* Repent for forgiveness of sin
* Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
* Becoming "Born Again"

Now, coming from generations of Catholics, I always "believed" in Jesus. We recited the Apostles Creed; went to confession on a regular basis; received communion, received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation, etc. So, was I saved?

This isn't a trick question, by the way. :mrgreen:

I've just been thinking how complicated it might sound to non-believers when those "systems" are presented and whether or not following them actually makes someone a believer.

Thoughts?
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Jericho on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:12 pm

I think Romans 10:9 sums it up:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


God made it extremely easy to be saved, just confess and believe. We are the ones who make it more complicated than it needs to be.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:52 pm

Jericho wrote:I think Romans 10:9 sums it up:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.


God made it extremely easy to be saved, just confess and believe. We are the ones who make it more complicated than it needs to be.


Oh my...thank you, Jericho! I should have known that the one thing missing from that list is the most important one....the heart! You are so spot on that we make it so complicated. I know I wasn't saved all those years of performing rituals. They were just that...rituals that were taught to us and as obedient Catholics, we performed. I really did believe in Jesus, but it was a head knowledge.

I guess we were fulfilling a scripture that we didn't even know at that time. (caps NASB)

Mark 7:6  And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 
Mark 7:7  'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 


So then, what's the best way to share the gospel? Appeal to the heart of the individual or tell them they have to repent or perform any of those things in the list? Because that's the way most churches do...and rarely mention the heart or the "good news."
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:42 pm

Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.

The gentiles who did not have the law of Moses agreed they were sinners and believed that Jesus died for them.

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Ready1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:32 pm

Peter said to turn around. He called it "repent".
Just observing.

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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:44 pm

Ready1 wrote:Peter said to turn around. He called it "repent".

Yes, but does that happen as a result of true salvation or is it a prerequisite?

I see our salvation as agreeing with God that I am a sinner, Jesus paid my penalty, I believe that, I
continue on trusting what God said is true and He will do for me what He has promised.

I change my mind on the life I was living and turn around and live to please God because what He has done for me.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby JohnE on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:48 pm

[Abiding] Oh my...thank you, Jericho! I should have known that the one thing missing from that list is the most important one....the heart! You are so spot on that we make it so complicated. I know I wasn't saved all those years of performing rituals. They were just that...rituals that were taught to us and as obedient Catholics, we performed. I really did believe in Jesus, but it was a head knowledge.

I guess we were fulfilling a scripture that we didn't even know at that time. (caps NASB)

Mark 7:6  And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 
Mark 7:7  'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 

So then, what's the best way to share the gospel? Appeal to the heart of the individual or tell them they have to repent or perform any of those things in the list? Because that's the way most churches do...and rarely mention the heart or the "good news."

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Mark F wrote:Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.

The gentiles who did not have the law of Moses agreed they were sinners and believed that Jesus died for them.

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.



Hi Abiding, I understand your plight. :lol: :a3: I've never been baptized other than the Catholic Church (of which I have many friends and family that completely believe in our KING) and it sometimes concerns me that I have not been fully submersed and dead to this life, and reborn in that manner. Of course the sprinkling is a public act, but I still desire/need? a full submission baptism. I do truly believe my Catholic brothers and sisters will be in heaven, but I'm personally hung up on this for some reason. I think I'm going to ask the Baptist neighbors if they'll help me lol.
I truly do believe that Catholics will be there, along with every other church that acknowledges Jesus as our Messiah, King of Kings, and LORD of LORDS, the only SON of GOD and most importantly, our Savior. Why do we still carry doubt?
For the record, I was raised pretty much as non denominational. I got baptized Catholic with my first born. I don't ever remember not believing in all Jesus Christ was and is. GOD's grace and goodness is so great :a3:
Love all y'all :grin: :a3:

Mark, you're so right. :a3:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:22 pm

Mark F wrote:Shouldn't we look at what it was that Paul was talking about preceding that verse?

Isn't he addressing the obtaining of righteousness? Israel kept on by works, talked big but their hearts were hard.


You make a good point, Mark. And yet the following verse indicates that righteousness comes with a heart belief.

Rom 10:10 .... for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 

The heart of any gospel presentation has to be the acknowledgement that we are sinners and Jesus died to pay our debt to God, only by believing that do we have salvation.


I never believed I was a sinner. I obeyed all the rules. It was only after being born again did I become aware of sin. And never past sins; only as I unintentionally sinned and was made spiritually aware of how they impacted others whether they were intentional or unintentional.

You cannot simply believe "in" Jesus or that He died and rose again, you have to know there is a sin issue.....and put your existence in His hands.


And yet Paul continues..."whoever will call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved." (Romans 10:13) He mentions nothing about sin there.

So while the word Gospel is mentioned 96 times in the NT, it seems the focus of the "Good News" is Jesus Christ....not me or my performance of rituals or proclamation of certain words. That's why I listed these things in the first post and how becoming a believer isn't as simple or straightforward as we often present it.

* Believe
* Confess with your mouth
* Public confession
* Baptism
* Faith
* Repent for forgiveness of sin
* Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior
* Becoming "Born Again"
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Mark F on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:45 pm

You cannot just take that one verse, what was Paul talking about before he wrote that?

He says just before that in Rom 10:8 But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

So you need to know what was the word of faith they were preaching?

1Co_15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Co_15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Here is some of the message that Paul preached, yes this is from the letter to the Corinthian church, but I am sure he told everybody these things.



Abiding, you wrote:
And yet Paul continues..."whoever will call upon the name of the Lord, will be saved." (Romans 10:13) He mentions nothing about sin there.

You have to read the rest of the book, Paul hammers away at sin, then he preaches grace. Paul starts out the book to the Romans listing sins, sins, and more sins.

IMO you cannot simply call upon the name of the Lord without considering your predicament. You must have an understanding that you have a need of Him.
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Ready1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:37 pm

Mark F wrote:Yes, but does that happen as a result of true salvation or is it a prerequisite?

I see our salvation as agreeing with God that I am a sinner, Jesus paid my penalty, I believe that, I
continue on trusting what God said is true and He will do for me what He has promised.

I change my mind on the life I was living and turn around and live to please God because what He has done for me.


Mark, we're on the same page. Knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done must come first. Then Peter's statement makes perfect sense.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Just observing.

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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 am

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.


OK. So these seem to be the "steps" necessary to become a believer (so far).Act 2:38  Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

1) believe
2) repent
3) be baptized

What about the context of Acts 2:38...i.e. receive the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues as Peter and the others just experienced when he spoke these words?

And Jesus words seem to confirm the same.

Mar 16:15  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 
Mar 16:16  "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 
Mar 16:17  "These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues
Mar 16:18  they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Also Acts 2:38 seems to indicate that baptism is the means of receiving forgiveness for sin.

Act 2:38  Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Spreading Salt on Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:53 pm

I think the word 'belief' is misleading. Even Satan and his demons believe in Jesus.

Here are a few vs to ponder:
Revelation 14:6-7

6 Next I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven with everlasting Good News to proclaim to those living on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 In a loud voice he said,
“Fear God, give him glory,
for the hour has come when he will pass judgment!
Worship the One who made heaven and earth,
the sea and the springs of water!”

John 3:16-18
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son…………………….……. 35 the Father loves the Son and has put everything in his hands. 36 Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.”

Luke 23
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him. “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other one spoke up and rebuked the first, saying, “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same punishment as he is. 41 Ours is only fair; we’re getting what we deserve for what we did. But this man did nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Yeshua, remember me when you come as King.” 43 Yeshua said to him, “Yes! I promise that you will be with me today in Gan-‘Eden.”

Galations 2
16 even so, we have come to realize that a person is not declared righteous by God on the ground of his legalistic observance of Torah commands, but through the Messiah Yeshua’s trusting faithfulness. Therefore, we too have put our trust in Messiah Yeshua and become faithful to him, in order that we might be declared righteous on the ground of the Messiah’s trusting faithfulness and not on the ground of our legalistic observance of Torah commands. For on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, no one will be declared righteous.[a]


No where is a believer required to be baptized or repent. It is trusting Jesus is who He states He is and being faithful to that. A simple cry to God, an acknowledgment of Him (what He stands for and claims to be) is all it takes to receive the gift offered - eternal life and no judgment/wrath. With that cry from your soul to the Creator of your soul comes a changed outlook; a need to change your life to honor your Lord. To get to know Him and what He desires. Repentance comes once we realize how far we have fallen from where we should be. From the shame and regret of those weaknesses. We drink the milk and understand little by little how amazing the grace of salvation really is. Simple, baby faith. No deeds. No needed steps. A simple cry for His Lordship in your life. The rest comes as we grow and become sanctified. :a2:
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Re: Becoming a believer

Postby Abiding in His Word on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:43 pm

My conclusion is that there really is no one-size-fits-all salvation methodology. As I mentioned earlier, there are enough examples; i.e. the woman at the well, the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears, Zacchaeus , the thief on the cross, etc. to conclude that Jesus reaches out to those whose heart is reaching out to Him and even those who aren't....like Paul's conversion.

Also as I mentioned before, I never looked at myself as a sinner. I had never heard the "good news" and/or that I needed to repent and/or be baptized. Those came much later but not out of guilt or pressure from anywhere. What followed my born again experience was a gradual change in understanding Jesus and a desire to purchase a Bible to read about Him and His love for sinners and the oppressed.

I do, however, understand the desire of "churches" to reduce salvation to a ritual or method of presenting the new birth, but think it would be far better to allow a person to ask Jesus into their lives using their own heartfelt words and trust God to take it from there. All brothers and sisters can make themselves available to answer any questions or suggest a home fellowship, etc. where that individual will grow in understanding and maturity.
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